I've been a Mac OS X user for years (and likely will continue to be), but now that Windows 7 is out I'd like to give it a shot on a part-time basis, partially because of the (comparatively) good reviews and partially because I have friends and relatives that will expect me to support the system.
I'm considering getting a $30 copy from [win741.com] (as I am a student), but it seems that it's only possible to get the "upgrade" version and not the "full" version (and there's no way I'm spending upwards of $200 on this indulgence).
So my question is this: does the Windows 7 require an earlier version of Windows to be installed? Is it possible to trick a clean-installed Windows 7 into thinking that it installed from an upgrade?
Would it be possible to pirate a copy of Windows XP or Vista, install it in a VM/separate partition, then install the Windows 7 upgrade on top? Will I have WGA problems? Or will Windows 7 outright refuse to install? If so, what other options do I have of getting a legitimate copy of Windows 7 without paying the exorbitant "full" version price?